Re: Can someone help me understand my MRI results??
Hi there -- welcome! Well, one possible reason for your leg pain is the extrusion at L5-S1. In layman's terms, this disc is very sad.
L5-S1 is the lowest level of your lumbar spine, where it transitions to the sacrum. Part of your disc has extruded (this is usually the nucleus pushing through the outer layers of the disc -- called the annulus).
The disc material is in the foramem (foraminal compromise). The foramen is the part of the vertabrae through which the nerves exit the spine and go out to the different areas of the body. So, your nerves are being impinged (pinched), which could be causing your leg pain. If look at a dermatome map, it will show which parts of the body are ennervated by the nerves at each level of the spine. If your leg pain is on the left and corresponds to the L5-S1 region, then that is a likely culprit.
Remember that the posts are not intended to be medical advice, but hopefully my explanation of some of these terms will allow you to do some research and be ready with questions for your next doctor's appointment. If you have questions about how doctors typically treat this condition, the usual protocol is short-term oral steroids, physical therapy, epidural steroid injection, then consider surgery.
If you have any leg weakness or bowel or bladder function loss, call your doctor immediately. These could be signs of cauda equina syndrome, which is considered a medical emergency.